Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine is an 11% barley wine from Baird Beer, based in Shizuoka, Japan. It’s part of their seasonal line up and can be found in bottles and on tap from February onwards. The name roughly translates to “stubborn old man” and is brewed with Maris Otter, along with some rye and cara malts too. The 2016 version was brewed with US hops such as Simcoe, Citra, Columbus, and Summit.
Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine Aroma and Taste
Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine poured out a deep copper-red colour with a minimal amount of head – but then barley wines aren’t supposed to have lots of head on it. The most surprising thing about it though was the slight citrusy aroma coming off of it. Pretty much all the barley wines I’ve had in the past have been loaded on sweetness due to the high amount of malts that are used in the mash. It didn’t have anywhere near the citrusy aroma of an imperial IPA, or even an IPA, but it was noticeable. Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine also had large notes of plums, toffee, raisins, and also some creaminess in there as well.
I’d recommend drinking a barley wine in three portions: one chilled, one warming up, and the final portion at room temperature, as this way you can taste all that has to offer. With Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine, it’s clear that it’s a multilayered beer. When chilled, it’s sweet with some toffee and plum favours dominating. As it warms up, while the sweetness is still the dominant flavour, there were hints of citrus fruits and pine coming through. Finally, when it’s warmed up, the booziness comes through like a Christmas pudding doused in brandy.
Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine Aged Version
After being patient for three years, I cracked open a bottle that had been packaged Nov 3 2014 – three years ago as I write this added part. And all I can say is how smooth Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine gets with time. At 11%, it’s dangerous when fresh but once the flavours have had the chance to mellow out, it’s very easy to drink. The bold fruit flavours have died down somewhat but have also made it easier to drink and allowed some of the sweetness to come through. Try picking up four bottles next time you can get it and age them.
Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine The Bottom Line
I liked Baird’s take on a barley wine with Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine; something different from the overblown sweetness that comes with the style. Buy two: drink one and age one.
Where to Buy Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine
Baird Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine can be bought annually from February onwards at all Baird Beer taprooms. It can also be bought online at the following places: